Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Advocating for the mentally ill


By Marilyn Baker from Marilyn’s Blog, April 30, 2016

People with serious mental illness need an advocate at least as much as people with other health problems, and probably more. When the brain malfunctions, the patient can (and often does) make poor decisions, with very negative consequences.

For me, advocacy means doing whatever it takes to get my loved one’s life running smoothly and keeping it that way. In actual practice, it is often driven by a reaction to a crisis.

Advocacy should also mean doing things to enrich their lives and enhance their care. In general, a good goal would be to raise public awareness about serious mental illness.

So far I have not found much time for the awareness and enhancement part. I have been mainly busy trying to smooth out the bumps in day-to-day living for my loved one.

I will give some examples of the things I have been doing for my loved one. They tend to be very specific. I expect that you, the reader, will have your own list of things that you have done and are doing now. My hope is that by communicating about it, it will help all of our loved ones to get better care.